1

It is a positive commandment to offer the sin-offerings1 according to its statutes as they are written in the Torah. How are the sin-offerings which are eaten2 brought? One slaughters [the animal] and sprinkles its blood in the manner described,3 skins it, and separates the eimorim.4 He salts them and casts them on the pyre. If he desires to place the eimorim in a container while they are being carried to the altar, he may. The remainder of the meat in eaten by male priests in the Temple Courtyard.5

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לַעֲשׂוֹת הַחַטָּאוֹת כְּמִצְוָתָן הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכֵיצַד מַעֲשֵׂה חַטָּאת הַנֶּאֱכֶלֶת. שׁוֹחֵט וְנוֹתֵן הַדָּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמַפְשִׁיטָהּ וּמַפְרִישׁ הָאֵימוּרִים וּמוֹלְחָן וְזוֹרְקָן עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. וְאִם רָצָה לִתֵּן אֶת הָאֵימוּרִין בִּכְלִי כְּשֶׁמּוֹלִיכָן לַמִּזְבֵּחַ נוֹתֵן וּשְׁאָר בְּשָׂרָהּ נֶאֱכָל לְזִכְרֵי כְּהֻנָּה בָּעֲזָרָה:

2

How are the sin-offering which are burnt brought? One slaughters [the animal] and sprinkles its blood in the manner described. Afterwards, one rips open [its belly] and removes the eimorim. He places them into a container, salts them, and casts them on the pyre. The remainder [of the animal] should be taken outside the city6 and cut up there as the burnt offering is cut up7 with its hide.8 [The pieces] are burnt there in the ash pile.9

ב

וְכֵיצַד מַעֲשֵׂה חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת. שׁוֹחֵט וְזוֹרֵק דָּמָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ קוֹרְעָם וּמוֹצִיא הָאֵימוּרִים וְנוֹתְנָן בִּכְלִי וּמוֹלְחָן וְזוֹרְקָן עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. וּמוֹצִיא שְׁאֵרִיתָן חוּץ לָעִיר. וּמְנַתְּחִין אוֹתָן שָׁם כְּנִתְחֵי הָעוֹלָה בְּעוֹרָן. וְשׂוֹרְפִין אוֹתָן שָׁם בְּבֵית הַדֶּשֶׁן:

3

There are three places [where sacrifices] are burnt: The first is in the midst of the Temple Courtyard.10 [The following are] burnt there: sacrifices [of the highest order of sanctity] that have been disqualified,11 the eimorim of sacrifices of lesser sanctity which were disqualified,12 the bulls and goats that are burnt if they are disqualified, whether before their blood was sprinkled or after their blood was sprinkled,13 e.g., they became impure, they were taken outside the Temple Courtyard before the time they were supposed to be taken out arrived, or their meat or their eimorim remained overnight [without being burnt].14

ג

שְׁלֹשָׁה מְקוֹמוֹת לִשְׂרֵפָה. אֶחָד בְּתוֹךְ הָעֲזָרָה וּבוֹ שׂוֹרְפִין פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין וְאֵימוּרִים קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים שֶׁנִּפְסְלוּ וּפָרִים וּשְׂעִירִים שֶׁל חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת אִם אֵרַע בָּהֶם פָּסוּל בֵּין לִפְנֵי זְרִיקָה בֵּין לְאַחַר זְרִיקָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אוֹ שֶׁיָּצְאוּ חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ זְמַנָּן לָצֵאת. אוֹ שֶׁלָּן הַבָּשָׂר אוֹ לָנוּ הָאֵימוּרִין שֶׁלָּהֶן:

4

The second place is on the Temple Mount. It is called the birah.15 There we burn sin-offerings that are to be burnt if they were disqualified16 after they departed from the Temple Courtyard.

The third place is outside Jerusalem. It is called the ash-pile. There we burn the sin-offerings that are burnt when they are burnt according to their commandment.17

ד

וְהַמָּקוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי בְּהַר הַבַּיִת וּשְׁמוֹ בִּירָה. וּבוֹ שׂוֹרְפִין חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת אִם אֵרַע בָּהֶן פְּסוּל אַחַר צֵאתָן מִן הָעֲזָרָה. וְהַמָּקוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חוּץ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם וְהוּא הַנִּקְרָא בֵּית הַדֶּשֶׁן. וְשָׁם שׂוֹרְפִין חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן נִשְׂרָפוֹת כְּמִצְוָתָן:

5

It is acceptable for the burning of all of [the sacrifices] that must be burnt18 to be performed by a non-priest19 and at night.20 Any type of wood, even straw and stubble, is acceptable21 for the burning of all of the sacrifices that must be burnt outside the Temple Courtyard , as [Leviticus 4:12] states: "On wood with fire," any type of fire. Why is wood mentioned? To exclude lime or hot ash.

ה

וּשְׂרֵפַת כָּל הַנִּשְׂרָפִין כְּשֵׁרָה בְּזָר וּבַלַּיְלָה. וְכָל הַנִּשְׂרָפִין חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה כָּל הָעֵצִים כְּשֵׁרִין לִשְׂרֵפָתָן אֲפִלּוּ בְּקַשׁ וּבִגְבָבָא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יב) "עַל עֵצִים בָּאֵשׁ", אֵשׁ מִכָּל מָקוֹם. וְלָמָּה נֶאֱמַר עֵצִים לְהוֹצִיא אֶת הַסִּיד וְאֶת הָרֶמֶץ:

6

How is a sin-offering from fowl brought? Melikah should be performed on the southwest corner [of the altar],22 as we explained.23 He should descend with his nail until he cuts the organs [required for ritual slaughter]24 or [at least] the majority of one of them. He should not separate the head from the body.25 If he does, he disqualifies [the sacrifice] and is liable for lashes,26 as [Leviticus 5:8] states: "He shall nip off its head at the nape [of the neck], but should not separate it."

He then sprinkles its blood on the wall of the altar, below its midpoint.27 The remainder of the blood should be squeezed out on the altar's base,28 as stated [ibid.: 9]: "And the remainder of the blood, he shall squeeze out on the altar's base." One can conclude from this that when one presents the blood on the wall [of the altar], [the fact that] the remainder [of the blood] is squeezed out toward the base [indicates that] "the wall" refers to the lower [portion] of the wall.29

ו

חַטַּאת הָעוֹף כֵּיצַד הָיְתָה נַעֲשֵׂית. מוֹלֵק אוֹתָהּ בְּקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְיוֹרֵד בְּצִפָּרְנוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּחְתֹּךְ הַסִּימָנִין אוֹ רֹב אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְאֵינוֹ מַבְדִּיל הָרֹאשׁ מִן הַגּוּף. וְאִם הִבְדִּיל פָּסַל וְלוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה ח) "וּמָלַק אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ מִמּוּל עָרְפּוֹ וְלֹא יַבְדִּיל". וּמַזֶּה מִדָּמָהּ עַל קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְמַטָּה מֵאֶמְצָעוֹ. וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם מִתְמַצִּים עַל הַיְסוֹד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה ט) "וְהַנִּשְׁאָר בַּדָּם יִמָּצֵה עַל יְסוֹד הַמִּזְבֵּחַ" מִכְּלָל שֶׁהַנְּתִינָה עַל קִיר שֶׁהַשְּׁיָרִין שֶׁלּוֹ מִתְמַצִּין אֶל יְסוֹד וְזֶהוּ קִיר הַתַּחְתּוֹן:

7

Squeezing out the blood of a fowl brought as a sin-offering is an absolute requirement.30 All the altar receives from this offering is its blood. The remainder is eaten by males of the priestly family like the meat of an animal brought as a sin-offering.31

ז

וּמִצּוּי דַּם חַטַּאת הָעוֹף מְעַכֵּב. וְאֵין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ בָּהּ אֶלָּא דָּמָהּ וְהַשְּׁאָר נֶאֱכָל לְזִכְרֵי כְּהֻנָּה כִּבְשַׂר חַטַּאת הַבְּהֵמָה:

8

How should the fowl brought as a sin-offering be held at the time of melikah? He should hold its two feet between two of his fingers32 and its two wings between his other two fingers,33 extending its neck over [the thumb for]34 a width of two fingers and then snip off its head.35

This was one of the difficult tasks performed in the Temple. If one deviated and held the fowl in any other manner, it is acceptable.

ח

כֵּיצַד אוֹחֵז חַטַּאת הָעוֹף בִּשְׁעַת מְלִיקָה. אוֹחֵז שְׁתֵּי רַגְלֶיהָ בֵּין שְׁתֵּי אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וּשְׁתֵּי אֲגַפֶּיהָ בֵּין שְׁתֵּי אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו. וּמוֹתֵחַ צַוָּארָהּ אֶל רֹחַב שְׁתֵּי אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וּמוֹלֵק. וְזוֹ מֵעֲבוֹדוֹת קָשׁוֹת שֶׁבַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. וְאִם שִׁנָּה וְאָחַז בְּכָל מָקוֹם כְּשֵׁרָה:

9

Every part of the altar is acceptable for melikah, provided he sprinkles its blood below the midpoint of the altar. If he sprinkles it anywhere [on the altar], it is acceptable provided he presents [at least] a small amount of the blood of the soul36 below [the midpoint of the altar].

ט

וְכָל מָקוֹם מִן הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּשֵׁר לִמְלִיקָתָהּ. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיַּזֶּה דָּמָהּ לְמַטָּה מֵאֶמְצַע הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְאִם הִזָּה בְּכָל מָקוֹם כְּשֵׁרָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּתֵּן לְמַטָּה מְעַט מִדַּם הַנֶּפֶשׁ:

10

The upper half of southwest corner of the altar would serve three purposes and the lower half would serve three purposes. The lower half was used for the melikah of a fowl brought as a sin-offering, approaching the altar with the meal-offering,37 and pouring the remainder of the blood of the burnt-offerings, the sin-offerings that are eaten, the guilt-offerings, and the peace-offerings upon its [base].38

The three purposes for which the upper portion was used are: the water libation on Sukkos,39 the wine libation of the accompanying offering [of Sukkot],40 and the burnt offerings of fowl if there are many of them. If the southeast corner41 does not have the capacity for all of them,42 [the priests would] turn to the southwest corner and perform melikah there.43

י

שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים הָיְתָה קֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית מְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת לְמַעְלָה וּשְׁלֹשָׁה לְמַטָּה. מִלְּמַטָּה חַטַּאת הָעוֹף וְהַגָּשַׁת הַמְּנָחוֹת וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שֶׁל עוֹלוֹת וְחַטָּאוֹת הַנֶּאֱכָלוֹת וַאֲשָׁמוֹת וּשְׁלָמִים שֶׁשּׁוֹפְכִין עָלֶיהָ. וְהַשְּׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁל מַעְלָה נִסּוּךְ הַמַּיִם שֶׁמְּנַסְּכִין בֶּחָג וְנִסּוּךְ הַיַּיִן שֶׁל נְסָכִים וְעוֹלַת הָעוֹף בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִיא רַבָּה. וְאִם אֵין קֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית מְכִילָה אוֹתָהּ נִפְנִין לְקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית וְעוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ שָׁם:

11

All of those who ascend the altar on the right [side of the ramp],44 circle it, and descend on the left [side] except for one who ascends for one of the latter three purposes mentioned above which are performed on the upper portion45 of this corner. [Those involved in these services] ascend on the left side, turn to the left, to that corner, perform their task, and retrace their steps.

Why do they turn to the left? So that they will encounter the southwest corner first. For if they would turn to the right and circle the entire altar until they reached the southwest corner, the water or the wine might become smoky46 or perhaps the fowl would die because of the altar's smoke.

יא

כָּל הָעוֹלִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ עוֹלִין דֶּרֶךְ יָמִין וּמַקִּיפִין וְיוֹרְדִין דֶּרֶךְ שְׂמֹאל. חוּץ מִן הָעוֹלֶה לְאֶחָד מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה בְּקֶרֶן זוֹ שֶׁהֵן עוֹלִין וְנִפְנִין עַל הַשְּׂמֹאל לַקֶּרֶן וְעוֹשִׂין מְלַאכְתָּן וְחוֹזְרִין לָעָקֵב. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה נִפְנִין לִשְׂמֹאל כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּפְגְּעוּ בְּקֶרֶן מַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית תְּחִלָּה. שֶׁאִם נִפְנִין עַל יָמִין וּמַקִּיפִין אֶת כָּל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לְקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית שֶׁמָּא יִתְעַשֵּׁן הַמַּיִם וְהַיַּיִן אוֹ שֶׁמָּא יָמוּת הָעוֹף בְּעֶשֶׁן הַמִּזְבֵּחַ:

12

Therefore when someone who performs a water or wine libation circles the altar,47 he should not have anything in his hands. He begins circling from the southeast corner, [proceeding] to the northeast and then to the northwest and the southwest. He should not be holding anything. When he reaches the southwest corner, the water or the wine is placed in his hand and he performs the libation. If he does not [desire to] circle [the altar], he may ascend [the ramp], turn to the left, perform his service, and descend.

יב

לְפִיכָךְ הַמְנַסֵּךְ מַיִם אוֹ יַיִן כְּשֶׁהוּא מַקִּיף אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יִהְיֶה בְּיָדוֹ כְּלוּם. וּמַתְחִיל וּמַקִּיף מִקֶּרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית לְמִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית לִצְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית לְמַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית וְלֹא יִהְיֶה בְּיָדוֹ כְּלוּם. וּכְשֶׁמַּגִּיעַ לְמַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית נוֹתְנִין הַמַּיִם אוֹ הַיַּיִן בְּיָדוֹ וּמְנַסֵּךְ. וְאִם לֹא הִקִּיף עוֹלֶה וּפוֹנֶה עַל שְׂמֹאלוֹ וְעוֹשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ וְיוֹרֵד: